American society is dominated by social inequality. A handful of people control the vast majority of wealth. But the media and much of the academic world insist that race and gender, and not social class, are the critical divisions in society.
This outlook extends into art and culture. Phrases like “white privilege,” “white savior movies,” and “cultural appropriation” are frequently used. Artists are criticized for not sticking “to their own lane.” Where does this kind of thinking lead? What is its history?
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, a turning point in modern history, when the working class and oppressed took power for the first time. The lessons of that revolution and its fate have great importance in helping find a way out of the current crisis of culture and politics.
David Walsh, arts editor of the World Socialist Web Site, will speak at San Diego State University on these issues on April 18. Walsh is an expert on contemporary culture and its relationship to politics and social life. He is the author of thousands of film reviews and essays on art and history, some of which are collected in The Sky Between the Leaves.